Today, Bristol’s Labour Mayor has decided out of the blue to end the cross-party cabinet, effectively firing Green Cabinet Member Fi Hance and Tory Cabinet Member Claire Hiscott.
Statement by Councillor Eleanor Combley, Green Group Leader:
It’s disappointing, but not altogether surprising, that this has happened. The cross-party cabinet was always a political calculation by the Labour Mayor in the first place – now he (or his advisors) have clearly decided that it no longer works to their advantage.
As Marvin himself acknowledged, our Green Cabinet Member Fi Hance has done great work for Bristol. The week before last she was in Bonn representing the city at the COP23 UN climate conference. At City Hall she’s been leading work on banning harmful Single Use Plastics, cleaning up the illegal levels of air pollution that affect us all and has overseen the City smashing its CO2 targets. We hope the work she’s put in the pipeline, which is absolutely vital for the long-term future of Bristol, will still be carried out.
Even though we often sought to avoid stepping on the Labour Mayor’s toes, he has repeatedly shown he is unable to accept any sort of criticism, constructive or otherwise. This is a worrying trait – a thin skin is not a helpful attribute if you want to be responsible for running a city. Denial of views other than your own and an inability to listen reflects poor leadership. The future of Bristol is simply too important to be held hostage to one man’s ego.
For our part we will continue to hold the Labour administration and Mayor to account for their decisions and work for the good of the City, whether that means working with the administration, or when it refuses to do so (as it often has), against it. The Mayor called that ‘point-scoring’ – as far as we’re concerned it’s called ‘doing our job’.